Top Cabinets Finished

The top cabinets finally got finished this evening, and they look better than I’d imagined. Indeed, it’s pretty amazing how close they come to looking like the original design.

The face frames are mostly poplar, with a couple of plywood panels thrown in around the corner. For strength, they are assembled with dowels and glue.

The face frames went up last weekend. They are held on with pocket screws on the inside top and sides of the cabinets. The middle cabinet wound up being done twice as I had made the frame level rather than trying to match the angled cabinet to its right. The resulting step bothered us more than the slightly out of level appearance. You’ll only notice the level (about 1/8″ over 5 1/2 ft) if you read this blog posting.

Once I’d installed them all, I added some latex caulk to the very minor gap along the ceiling, and they sank right into the ceiling. This is exactly what I wanted.

Except the two on the ends, the plywood doors are installed with Blum cup hinges. These required little pads on the inside of the face frames as I wanted inset doors to match some other cabinets elsewhere in the house. Because the frames do whatever they have to do to match each other and try to stay level, the pads for the hinges had to be shimmed to line up with the frames. That was a lot of work!

The two end doors have a screen because I’m going to put speakers behind them. The screen is salvaged from some tule we had left over from our wedding more than ten years ago. Unfortunately, the frames were too thin and light to allow me to drill them out for the cup hinges. So, I wound up using mortise-free hinges. In typical fashion, I found a couple of these in my salvaged hardware bin, and so, I used them.

As another bonus, all the knobs were salvaged from our kitchen. I like the white hardware on these cupboards as they are just supposed to disappear into the ceiling.

Next I will start on the base cabinets, working my way from left to right.


3 thoughts on “Top Cabinets Finished

  1. I really like how this is coming along. I like the idea of building the layout into the room with proper storage in all the voids above and below the layout. We certainly accumulate enough extra “stuff”. Terrific work.

    1. Thanks Chris. I’m quite happy with them too. I’ve not even filled them yet, and already there is breathing room where there wasn’t before.

      The key to living in a small space is to think about volumes, not floor-space.

      1. I agree on looking at the space in all three dimensions. Planning the space the layout will be in being as important as planning the track and scenery of the actual layout.

        Too often we don’t provide a space to hide the clutter that can be so much a part of model railways. We should make sure we have somewhere to hide the tools and parts out of sight between work sessions. It makes the space easier to return to when approaching the next work session since everything is stored.

        I think it’s good for the soul. For me the reduced clutter helps me to appreciate the progress I’ve made which is nice when I feel there’s still so much left to be done.

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